Returning funds to inmates can be a hassle, especially when you payout by check or cash. Luckily, there are alternatives that will not only make the transaction more secure, but also save you time and headache. Are you missing out on this growing trend?
What is a Debit Release Card?
Debit release cards are an alternative way to disburse inmate funds. It works like a debit card and is usable wherever Visa/Mastercard/etc are accepted). This allows you and the inmate more freedom on receiving their funds and using them.
Advantages of Debit Release Cards
There are a variety of advantages to debit release cards. When you are releasing funds to an inmate via check, you send that inmate off with sensitive financial data such as the jail’s account number and routing number that runs the risk of being compromised. While we don’t want to think about what may happen if the account was to be compromised, it can be a hassle and is an unnecessary concern. The facility is also able to remove the funds from their books immediately upon release rather than waiting for a check to clear and keeping track of all those $0.10 checks! This can create an auditing nightmare. Debit release cards also eliminate the headache of lost or stolen checks and the need for staff to reconcile cash/check payments which will ultimately save you time and money.
Another advantage is that it is easier to process and instantly available to the inmate. You won’t have to worry about the check being printed or the cash available upon release. It is also easier for the inmate to access the funds upon release in a secure manner that is less cumbersome than cash or check. Most cards are accepted anywhere and are federally insured which gives an extra layer of protection.
Cardholders can only spend the amount that is available on the card which keeps them from going into debt. They have access to 100% of their funds immediately and don’t have to wait for their check to clear or worry about carrying around a large amount of cash. All customer service issues are handled by the card issuer as well which eliminates any concerns that may arise from an inmate trying to cash a check.
Debit release cards will also expedite the release process. It eliminates the need for certain steps and paperwork to be completed which speeds up the release process and makes your jail run smoother and more efficiently.
Do the pros outweigh the cons for Debit Release Cards?
Absolutely! There is a list of reasons as to why these cards are gaining in popularity with institutions across the country. They make the release process faster, keep the money in a more secured environment for both the facility and the inmate, as well as avoid any potential issues that have come up with issuing release checks. Debit release cards allow facilities to make their release more efficient, save time and data entry needs, as well as allow the inmate immediate availability of their funds without having to wait to get to a bank and waiting for the check to clear.